Comic 401 - Fool the machine

Posted on 18th Sep 2017, 3:36 PM in Unfathomable Hate
Fool the machine

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 18th Sep 2017, 3:36 PM edit delete
The medical staff hooks Dr. Finch up to the machine, and they begin to draw blood.

Your first thought is to keep your blood from ever entering the machine. You try to control your blood inside his body, and only let Dr. Finch's own blood through. However--the same element that let you fight off the flesh eating bacteria in the first place makes this task very, very difficult. You have a significant quantity of blood inside Dr. Finch. Keeping any single one of your many, many cells from being drawn--without drastically impacting Dr. Finch's blood flow--becomes an incredible test. You hold off about ten minutes before you can't safely continue to do this.

Your blood is pulled into the machine. You focus on keeping your blood cells from changing their visible blood type, forcing them to independently masquerade as Dr. Finch's blood instead of matching any new majority they encounter. The machine is isolating small samples of small samples, so this isn't impossible... but it takes an astounding level of focus. Your run of making your blood cells hunt down specific bacteria--and your progress with mentally "babysitting" rats--seems to have formed decent practice for this. It is taxing, nonetheless, requiring the entirety of your concentration. Even a single cell changing could set the machine off.

You manage this for about an hour. After that amount of time, the mental and physical exhaustion is beginning to wear on you, and you fear that you can't keep up the strain for much longer. You begin trying to find a way to control, or sabotage, the machine.

You sync with Dr. Finch to try and figure out the machine's functions. Dr. Finch understands the basic premise, but not the details of how the machine detects a sudden change in blood type on such a small scale. Without being able to properly "fool" the machine, you settle on disabling the signal it sends to the buzzer, and any other signals you can figure out that the machine is supposed to send. You try to make it so that even if the machine finds something, it can't let anyone know.

After about fifteen minutes, the machine makes a very... different noise. One of the men in medical garb approaches the device, popping open a panel in its back and checking something.

"Looks like it's having some kind of malfunction. Internal communication error...?"

"It is a new machine," the other surgeon suggests. "I'm not surprised it's having trouble."

The first one--the man looking at the machine still--has a more skeptical expression on his face.

"You people hooked me up to an untested device?," Dr. Finch says, grave offense in his tone. "If I end up with an incompatibility reaction for being your guinea pig--"

"It's not untested," the first medic says flatly. He flips a switch, waits for Dr. Finch's blood to circulate back into his body, then turns the machine off. He begins unhooking Dr. Finch. "And this machine hasn't had any problems like this since the first prototype."

"That's about how it goes, though, isn't it?," the other medic chuckles, "it'll work a hundred times in testing, but you actually need it for an actual patient and it breaks down. Hey, it got through most of his blood, right? He should be good."

"Maybe," the more skeptical medic says. "Maybe not. Not my decision. We'll give our report to our superiors and see what the call is."

The two medics then wheel the machine out of the room, leaving Dr. Finch to himself.


Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
oofa doofa. i figured there'd be some sort of alarm to tell them if we fucked with the buzzer. i hope we don't decide to run him through it again once it's "fixed". second medic, you're a bro, being all "oh it made it through most of his blood he should be good" like yessss please please let him come home.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 6:53 PM edit delete reply
XD I know right

Gosh please let him come home ;__;
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 7:47 PM edit delete reply
Hmm, well STQ only seems to affect biological life. So I think this test was made to check for STQ and not something more complex... like an actual Blood (compared to a Printed Blood)

Do we actually know the differences between the two types anyway?
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 8:33 PM edit delete reply
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by STQ affecting biological life, but in order to hide the fact it is actually bio-printed alien blood, STQ changes itself to look like other high-grade hallucinogens that it's mixed with, so it's not easily detectable under a microscope. That's why chemists cannot reverse-engineer what they're looking at.

So I wouldn't say STQ only does stuff when it's interacting with a living being. It does stuff like our blood, it's just that it's really ugly and ungainly and not as good. Our blood, being the real deal, just does things so much better and schools it 'round the bend, and basically owns it.

Most of the differences between STQ and our blood can be read on this page, FYI.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 4:36 PM edit delete reply

Anyway, we bought time, and all it cost was making us 100% exhausted. Yay?

I have two ideas. One, we could replace the 'control' blood in the machine with our blood that we have in there. Maybe. We might not have enough. Two, next time they wheel it in (and there will be a next time) we sync everyone up whose name isn't fuse and divide the strain between all of us. This will probably cause hive-minding.

Could we draw other people through blood portals with us? If we can, we can get Finch out that way... but they'll know for sure he's associated then.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 6:52 PM edit delete reply
I like the idea of syncing to share mental or physical strain, if it's possible (not sure if we can) but I'd suggest only syncing with Caius to do it. Michelle's sync count is also pretty high.

As for blood portals, this was discussed with Mom's red and conclusively there are two major issues; one, we need a significant amount of blood pooled somewhere in the bunker to do it (if we tried to portal out of Dr. Finch, it's been confirmed we'd almost assuredly kill him) and two, there's a risk of time lapse happening. The last time we teleported it apparently skipped a month. Also, to my memory, teleporting our friends through with us is possible, but also dangerous to their minds; they may not survive the dimensional shift with their mental/emotional faculties intact.
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Count is a good thing to consider, but there is also duration and intensity.
Fuse had a single sync that had a huge intensity factor, and was then able to see Red.

I mean, not sure if it's connected, but it could be?
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 8:09 PM edit delete reply
You're right. The sync count is just a way for us to keep track of it in general.

We force-synced with Michelle for quite some time as well, so I'm equating that to Fuse's experience in Macland's head, somewhat.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
If we have a lot of blood in Finch, he could just bleed on the floor a bit, or we can burst one of the tubes to that machine if that isn't possible. But yeah, it was a long shot.

I think duration is way more important than intensity/count. We've synced with Fuse a lot, with the computer knowledge, various car chases, and warehouse raid. We've synced with Michelle a lot less, mostly in the second chase and the card game. Caius is definitely good to go on this one, though, with only the second chase to him. Still... there might not be enough people. Could we use Finch? It'll probably tip them off, but we haven't synced with him much, just in the house raid and shoulder fixing I think. (was he there for the card game?)
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 9:06 PM edit delete reply
I may have gotten some of this wrong. My memory is horrid.
Zeddy 18th Sep 2017, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
It's something.

I think it's time to move in. That doesn't seem to have done much more than buy us some time.

If Finch miraculously ends up getting released, we'll at least be in place to pick him up.
Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 5:04 PM edit delete reply
that's a bad idea. no one is supposed to know where he is. if a car shows up at this discrete government installation to pick him up, that's suspicious as fuck. if they let him go, they'll probably drop him back at his house.
Kitty 18th Sep 2017, 8:38 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, "move in" is a bad idea.

"Call Agent Fed," on the other hand, might be justified at this point. That will hopefully provide a diplomatic way of doing things that will pose less risk to us and our bloodfriends. We definitely need to rest first, though, and find a burner phone and a place to call from.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Just figuring out exactly what they are would be a helpful start.

Random speculation: the Agent lady is starting to feel more like a possibly rogue character. It's so weird they didn't ask Dr. Finch about the blood syringe he was holding that, you know, contained Jane's blood. I wonder if she removed that from the scene before the hazmat suits arrived?
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
My main theory is still that she has Mom's blood in her.
Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 5:04 PM edit delete reply
also if they come back we should ask about agent lady out of "concern".
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
Can I have a "I told you guys" ?
'cause I told you guys. Ah well, let's see what happens next, but we need to reduce their fear, not intensify it...
tor 18th Sep 2017, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
continue the conversation to get information. If they ask say it's a coping mechanism.
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
I mean if they do this again, we should be able to hide a lot of the Blood in the marrow. That keeps it out of the circulation and reduces the amount that has to be controlled away from the blood pump, or the amount that would have to be controlled inside the pump.

We may need to get Finch a transfusion of normal blood and take out some of the Blood at a later date.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 6:47 PM edit delete reply

As for what to do next, I guess we should update our pals in the motel room (I'm pretty sure when we started hardcore zoning out the last hour and a half they just started doing their own thing lol so assuming they're still in the room XD) and also just keep that blood alarm on Dr. Finch.

I'm guessing the next time they wheel that thing in, we will be able to do it again for slightly longer since we've had practice, but this is assuming they'll try again only after we've had a decent rest. Not sure if that's the safest assumption to make though. :/

(Edit: Poor Dr. Finch is still restrained! He didn't have any adverse reactions so they can't keep him tied up :< Can he ask to be freed? I mean just for basic human decency)
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
I'm guessing by the description that we're probably sitting on the bed with our brow furrowed and sweating a bit. The others in the room would know what that means. Probably need a glass of water.
Deadly Death Sickle 18th Sep 2017, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
Yeah, probably rest a bit after that and maybe play a relaxing board game with the others while enjoying the pizza you ordered from patch up fuse. And if there happens to be no board games just tell caius to go buy one... and eat pizza